Live report: Soul Asylum at Electric Ballroom - London 10/11/22

This was probably my last tick, the last band (alive) in my list I really wanted to see play live: Soul Asylum, ladies and gentlemen and, spoiler alert, Dave Pirner still got it. But let's move slowly by telling you that I always love coming to Electric Ballroom in Camden Town, maybe my favourite location among the (relatively) small ones in London. The concert was really cheap (compared to others and considering that it was for two bands) but the beer at the venue costs 1/5 of the ticket. I let you do the math. The current Soul Asylum line-up features, apart from the of course mastermind Dave Pirner; the lead vocals/guitar, Michael Blandon on drums, Ryan Smith on lead guitar and Wynston Roye on bass.

The night started with the band Everclear that, I have to be honest, are not my cup of tea, but I enjoyed their performance anyway and they got me in the end, as I really liked their attitude and their Les Paul guitars sounded spectacular. But let's talk now about Soul Asylum... 

Waiting for the moment for people to go queuing for a beer after Everclear (it even rhymes!), allowed me to gain a perfect position (see photo below) to watch Dave Pirner playing on stage only a few meters away from me. Well... I was 15 again. He aged, of course, but he still got it and the moves and the attitude are still there, even after all these years. 

The concert starts with the upbeat "Got it pretty good" from their latest album "Hurry up and Wait", definitely a good opener but I was even happier to hear live one of my favourites by the band, "Somebody to shove", straight after, from the golden era. Dave Pirner still uses his loyal Fender Telecaster and the acoustic Gibson and tells (questionable) jokes between songs. The band has the right attitude on stage (especially the "jumpy" Michael Blandon) and the setlist is well balanced between the albums (even if I really miss "I did my best", probably my favourite), going through hits like "Black gold", "Misery", "Just like anyone" (I still remember every frame of those videos, from "Let your dim light shine"), "Lately" (the only song, unfortunately from "The silver lining"), their biggest hit by far "Runaway train" and a spectacular "Without a trace", probably my favourite of the concert. 

Good choices for the encore as well, with "String of Pearl" and a really powerful and intense "April fool" (it was really loud!), of course from their most famous album "Grave Dancers Union" which turned 30 this year (an anniversary edition was released, if you are interested). We are all getting old, but happy. At least, the band seemed happy and I definitely was during the concert and even the morning after, writing this live report. 
Long live Soul Asylum!

Soul Asylum Setlist Electric Ballroom, London, England 2022
Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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